I have been working as a CCEPS fellow for three weeks now, and I am done surveying the first half of the Yao family papers. Having examined so many Norman Yao’s photos of Claremont, I gradually developed a deeper sense of connection with the college town. When I ascended the stairs on the south side of the Honnold/Mudd Library, a black and white photo that Norman Yao took in the late 1960s flashed in my mind. Four students about my age were walking down the stairs, chatting; one was fixing her hair, while another student was staring north at Mt. Baldy. For a brief moment, I felt that had I waved at them, they would have waved back at me. In other instances, as I walked around Claremont and saw the places photographed by Norman, I felt like I was visiting places that I had seen in movies or read about in novels. But Claremont is not a distant and strange place, but the city where I reside. Yet, seeing the town through the lens of a camera and with a historical dimension prompted me to take a step back from my many frustrations with Claremont in my daily life to view myself as a part of its changing history and appreciate the many beauties of Claremont.
Moving on, I will be processing the Yao family papers. Basically, I will draft a processing plan, rearrange the documents under different themes and evaluate their research value.
Hope you have a good week!